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All overworked, sleep-deprived moms out there could use an extra hand (or five) to help make the infant and toddler years a little easier. However, I can not discount that parenting is still hard, and there will come a time your toddler will not listen. That’s why I’ve taken the time to think of all the best hacks for infants and toddlers that have worked. No matter what, I’ve covered you to save time and sanity.
The Best Hacks for Infants:
- When changing your baby’s , place the new one underneath the dirty one.
- Always double up on sheets when you have an infant or toddler. If an accident should occur, it will be easier to take care of it in the middle of the night. For example, place a mattress protector, sheet, mattress protector, and then another sheet. So if an accident occurs, just remove one layer of the sheet and mattress protector, then you all will be able to go back to sleep in less time.
- Use one of these changing pad protectors to line the car seat to help if a blowout should occur.
- Rotate the toys. Use an old comforter bag to put some toys in a closet and then bring them out when the kids get bored of their current toys. Just keep rotating them so it feels like they always have some new toys.
- Put a hook on the back of the highchair to hold your bibs.
- The crinkle sound is intriguing to babies if you are out and have a water bottle.
- Do a bicycle exercise with gassy babies. One way to relieve it is by laying them on their back and rotating their chunky little legs in a bicycle-pedaling motion to get things moving. It worked wonders for Jack.
- Don’t run into the room at the drop of a hat each time you hear a whimper or cry. Sometimes they wake themselves or are crying a bit in their sleep, leave them for a minute to see if they stop before waking them fully by going in and picking them up.
- Use a sound machine in your infant’s room. Studies say that when infants go to sleep in a quiet room they are likely to be light sleepers. We used a wave sound machine for the boys, and they are amazing sleepers now, thanks to starting that when they were born.
- Moisturize the cradle cap with a bit of coconut oil, and use a baby comb to gently and gradually remove the flaking skin.
- If your baby needs to take medicine, pierce a small hole in the tip of an open-ended pacifier (Philips Avent Soothie) to create a small opening, or you can use a bottle nipple—no cutting required. When your baby is happily sucking away, stick the medication dropper in to administer the dose.
- Exercise balls: If you got one for labor, keep it! Some fussy newborns love to be bounced. Luke was like this, and it was super helpful to calm him in times of need.
- Fold the waistline of newborn diapers down and away from the umbilical cord area while it’s still healing.
- Carrying a baby in a heavy car seat in the crook of your arm will hurt. The best way to prevent that is by using a pad in the car seat handle area. You can cut up a piece of a pool noodle.
- If you live in a multi-level home, keep a small baby-changing station or bin (with a changing pad, diapers, wipes, and creams) on each floor, so you don’t need to go up and down every time.
The Best Hacks for Toddlers:
- ALWAYS have some hidden snacks inside the diaper bag.
- Keep a few small bottles of bubbles in your bag. They will come in handy when you eat outside on a beautiful day. You can pull them out and let the kids play while enjoying the fresh air.
- Put your toddler in a laundry basket for hours of fun.
- Teach your children how to clean up by making it fun
- Cut a sticker in half and put it in there shoes, so they know how to put them on correctly.
- Reuse a pool noodle to make a door stopper. It will prevent little fingers from getting jammed in the door and your child from trying to lock you out of a room.
- Placing a child lock on the front door, back door, and pantry. Yes, I said pantry. I have learned that sometimes in the middle of the night, even my three-year-old will try sneaking down for a midnight snack if I don’t shut the pantry door.
- Use a cupcake cup on a popsicle or lollypop to save your kid’s fingers from getting sticky and then getting sticky fingers all over.
- Out of outlet covers? Use some bandaids over them.
- Use hair ties for cabinets when away from home to prevent toddlers from getting into cabinets.
- Roll up a towel or blanket and stick it underneath the fitted sheet of your child’s bed to keep them from rolling out of it. This works in their bed at home or while they’re traveling.
- Prevent meltdowns by letting your child know what is going on that day that may not be part of the routine.
- Ask “yes” or “no” questions. Giving your child a few choices can help with learning independence and the ability to make choices.
I truly hope this was helpful. If you know of any more hacks that worked for you please do share!